Capital One to hire 700 in Henrico

By Andy Jenks - bio | email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A glimmer of hope for a region stung by the loss of many long-time companies. Northern Virginia-based Capital One announced plans to hire 1,000 people, including 700 jobs based in Henrico's Innsbrook area.

The banking giant plans to open a new call center and operations base by the middle of next year. That includes jobs in retail banking, IT, marketing/analysis, and customer service.

If empty buildings were like stock, the values here at Innsbrook would be rising.

"Capital One survived the recession relatively well, and so we think we're poised to do well going forward," said Julie Rakes, spokesperson for the company.

Capital One is taking over two empty buildings in Innsbrook after considering other locations in Florida and Texas. The company ultimately chose its home state of Virginia partly because of a $300,000 grant from Gov. Bob McDonnell, who commended the company's decision.

But it appears the plan had long been in the works. The buildings used to belong to Wachovia Securities and were purchased by Capital One back in August for $17 million.

So what happens next?

By mid-2011, if you have a problem with your account, it's possible your toll-free call will be handled locally. It hasn't always been that way.

Dr. David Urban is a professor of business at VCU.

"Companies want to bring those call center jobs back to the domestic shores because people don't have  language problems, easier to understand and so forth," Urban said.

And it wasn't so long ago that the company announcements were much different. In 2007, Capital One began laying off thousands of workers and trimming expenses by the millions.

Urban sees the newest development as a positive sign not just for Capital One.

"If you're a smaller company, and you've been uncertain about how things are going to go, and you see the  fact that Capital One has invested heavily in the area, then, that would bode well for those smaller companies," he said.

There's no one-type of person that the company is looking for, but Capital One did say it is actively recruiting at Virginia colleges.

The company declined to specify the salary range for the new positions, some of which have already been filled.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Henrico County and the Henrico Economic Development Authority to help secure the jobs, according to a news release.

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